Steve Smith stayed an immovable thing after Jofra Archer dented the reply of Australia on day two of the fifth and final Ashes Test at The Oval to England 294.
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Smith (59no) headed into the game with 671 runs from the series and also expanded that to 730 by java from south London after notching his sixth fifty-plus score in as many innings that summer and 10th in a row against England.
Australia were 147-4 at the fracture – Smith by hammering Jack Leach over wide-long for a six finishing his half-century.
Archer has hit three times, removing the urgently out of type David Warner (5) and then Marcus Harris (3) from the opening session, even until ousting Marnus Labuschagne (48) from the next – Sam Curran also impregnated together with the scalp Matthew Wade (19).
Labuschagne and smith set on 69 for the third wicket after Warner was out caught behind on review and also a squared-up Harris edged to slip to leave 14-2 to the vacationers.
Before Curran ousted Wade leg before but with Labuschagne closing in about a fifty at six Ashes innings that he was trapped lbw because he chased his attempted leg-side shot.
Warner had earlier prevented the ignominy of four straight ducks but still dropped, with his dismissal asserting there have now been record-extending 18 opening stands below fifty in this series, beating the 16 found from the four-Test, West Indies vs England series in 1934-35.
Even the left-hander is averaging just 9.33 in the series, and it has made double figures only once in nine innings, in the first knock at the third Test at Headingley if he battled to 61.
Smith has no such troubles – though he’s been bothered by Curran swing at times on Friday, together with the Surrey star with a couple of lbw appeals after curling back pitched-up deliveries , turned down.
England were bowled out 31 balls to the morning after progressing from their overnight 271-8 – Jos Buttler (70) and Leach (21) extending their ninth-wicket stand to 68.
Buttler was then siphoned off in edge and pad as Pat Cummins (3-84) moved onto 27 wickets for the show, while Leach hauled on defending to hands Mitchell Marsh (5-46) his inaugural Test five-for.
Watch continued policy of the fifth Ashes Test live on Sky Sports The Ashes (channel 404). You could also follow over-by-over commentary and in-play clips on our rolling site on skysports.com and the Sky Sports app.
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